The plan will serve as a guide for future development in the Terra Bella area, a 110-acre light industrial park which straddles N. Shoreline Boulevard just south of Highway 101. Unlike other areas targeted for redevelopment, such as North Bayshore or East Whisman, the Terra Bella area butts directly up against single-family homes along its southern and northwestern borders without even a street as a buffer. In recognition of this fact and after much public input, the vision plan frequently refers to the need to do context sensitive transitions and to provide adequate buffers so as to preserve the character of the adjacent neighborhoods.
However, in the actual specification of the transitions on p. 29, a very different picture is painted. Based on the numbers there, a 35-foot-tall building such as a three-story rowhouse would be permitted as close as 40 feet from an existing home's property line (with the third story stepped back just 10 feet), and a seven-story apartment building could start just 90 feet from the property line. To put this in perspective, a typical residential lot is about 100 feet deep. This would be like putting a seven-story building on your back neighbor's driveway. The loss of privacy and visual impact would be overwhelming, and the quality of life for at least 40 households would be significantly degraded.
We all know there is a need for more housing, but let's not compromise the quality of life of established neighborhoods to get there. A couple of simple modifications to the setback distances (e.g. 70 feet for three-story buildings and 220 feet for buildings five stories or more) would go a long way toward mitigating the impacts of high-density development on surrounding neighborhoods. I urge the council to consider making the necessary modifications to the vision plan.
San Lucas Avenue
My friend Mike Fischetti passed away this last week. I am sad and yet so grateful for Mike. You'll undoubtedly hear of the many ways Mike has served our community through Hope's Corner, MayView Clinic, and by his tireless advocacy for students and those struggling to make it here in Silicon Valley.
Mike has been a sort of mentor for me. Mike taught me to love individuals and to advocate for those in need or crisis. I remember years ago being with Mike when someone returned to him a small amount of money. It has always stuck in mind that when Mike accepted the payment, he told us that he would be saving that money to pass on to someone else in need. It's a small memory, but one that has guided my actions as money and gift cards have passed through my hands.
Mike taught me to honor and include those I don't agree with. Mike taught me the value of making friends with those who think differently than I do. When I find myself in conflict, I often recall sitting with Mike in his backyard or on his living room couch working together to figure out the best way to advocate for those we care about. Invariably, I learned from him to lead and serve with love.
Mike, I'm so grateful that you have been my friend.
West Middlefield Road
This story contains 579 words.
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